"Wicker basket"

Handmade art

"Wicker basket" public domain image CC0


Acquaviva Picena, a medieval village surrounded by walls and bastions, presents an interesting artistic tradition in the manufacturing of “paiarole”, or rather baskets made of wheat straw, wicker and many kind of marsh reeds. Since the seventies they have also produced little dolls and characters made of corn for nativity scenes. They are all completely hand made and the women deal with their raw materials and production. In 2000, the Acquaviva Picena comprehensive school in partnership with the Municipal Administration inaugurated the characteristic Museum Workshop "Paiarola, inserted into the provincial project The Piceno explains itself, to pass on to young people the habits and customs of the past. It is housed in the fortified tower of the medieval fortress which hosts a collection of baskets, kitchen utensils, little dolls made of woven straw, wicker and various natural materials.

Walking through the streets in the centre of Offida, you can hear a rhythmic and continuous crackling, a kind of music produced by invisible instruments; they are the many fuselli that the nimble hands of Offida’s women move with constancy and agility, to produce bobbin lace. The medieval village has been one of the most important centres of this for centuries. It is a very old tradition, perhaps even dating back to the 15th century and imported from the Orient.


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